Media OutReach – 26 July 2023 – Khepri Digital, a top digital marketing agency in Singapore, recently conducted a study on the outlook of SMEs (companies below 1 Million SGD in annual revenue) on digital marketing agencies. Out of the 200 SMEs invited, only 137 responded to the study.
The study —– that when a business looks for a digital marketing agency, the most important factors are its reputation, assurances of performance, and real work samples rather than price.
43% of these respondents previously worked with or are still working with a digital marketing agency. Responsiveness emerged as the most popular when asked about the signs of a successful agency partnership. Meanwhile, ability to take clients through an easily understandable report and achievement of results and KPI (Key Performance Indicator) took the second and third spot.
Additionally, when asked why they would work with an agency, some believed that it was better to outsource activities in which ROIs (return on investments) are measured easily.
SMEs who don’t intend to outsource again had problems with the agencies, usually from experience. However, they didn’t have a problem with the idea of an external agency.
SMEs subsequently cited past clients, sample work reports, and discussions with the person they would want to work with as the top three factors in choosing an agency. Price came out as an outlying factor, landing in fifth place. The study also found that clients are unimpressed with 24/7 monitoring reports.
Meanwhile, 70% of the respondents believed outsourcing is unprofitable with a negative ROI.
A number of those who have previously worked with digital marketing agencies said that these agencies were unable to prove their impact on a company’s revenue.
Khepri Digital also picked 45 businesses from the 137 for a separate Zoom interview composed of the following:
15 who have worked with a digital marketing agency before;
15 who previously worked with one but not currently; and
15 other businesses are still working with a digital marketing agency.
At least 10 of the Zoom respondents said they had to personally intervene in the content production operations as they believed the content was not good enough or the digital marketing agency didn’t understand their brand well enough. Another 10 said that the content produced was “good but not on brand”.
SMEs with no intention to work with a digital marketing agency cited “Branding Control”, defined as ensuring all material produced lines with the company vision, as their top reason. Meanwhile, “remaining unconvinced that the investment would yield a net positive ROI” came in second.
Thanks to this research by
Khepri Digital Marketing, 3 lessons for digital marketing agencies in Singapore to take away from this survey.
Firstly, when a business looks for a digital marketing agency, the most important factors are the agency’s reputation, assurances of performance, and real work samples, rather than the price. At least for Khepri Digital, the takeaway is that pricing models shouldn’t be too heavily based on price, but to be ready with deep case studies, especially with industries that are similar to that which the potential client is in. At the end of the day, our marketing efforts, especially for a more sophisticated product, should be steeped in how we establish “trust”.
Secondly, clients in general, also like to see presented data that’s easily understandable. One gripe that was commonly heard as feedback from SME Marketing managers in the survey was that they, in the words of one manager who did not agree to be named, “did not understand the dashboard that was thrown at her by the current agency”. They would very much like someone to take them through the dashboard weekly at least.
Thirdly, the Account Manager is an unusually large deciding factor whether a client continues. Despite middling results, about 8/15 of the companies currently working with an external agency, remain satisfied because the account manager is on hand to answer queries frequently, and is easy to communicate with. Hence, while 8/15 is an insignificant data point, it might be worth noting that having a strong Account Manager is a good insurance in case less-than stellar results are achieved.
However, this study does have its limitations.
The study was primarily conducted over Zoom, although most SMEs that responded were based in Singapore. There were no restrictions on their answers over video conference, which gave rise to subjectivity (i.e. whether their lack of willingness to work with an agency is due to a perception of negative ROI or simply negative reputation.).
Since only SMEs were involved in the study, the results may not represent larger companies who may have different demands or needs. Moreover, 137 SMEs are not representative of the whole world, nor the whole of Singapore.
Hashtag: #KhepriDigital #seo #sem #digitalmarketing #ppc
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.